Last week wasn’t a good week for my recipe challenge. I did bookmark several recipes I’d like to try but I didn’t actually try cooking any of them. I re-visited the Pasta With Spring Vegetables I tried a couple of weeks ago and come up with a slightly less extravagant, but still very tasty, version to enjoy one last bunch of asparagus at the end of the season; that’s not exactly trying a new dish from one of my recipe books though.
There was a reason I didn’t try anything new; I’d organised a barbecue at the weekend. Now, taking pleasure in catering for people seems to run in my family (Mum once asked a friend what she was good at to be told picnics and parties), it’s fair to say I rather over-catered. We probably didn’t need 5 times as many veg’ kebabs as there were people, nor a whole packet of burgers or sausages each; and that’s just the food which needed barbecuing. For most of the week we were eating leftovers, which didn’t leave much opportunity for experimenting with new recipes.
I’d decided that we needed a really summery drink to enjoy with the barbecue, I considered pimms but decided to do something different; we enjoyed a jug of pimms anyway as a friend brought some. Working from the memory of the sangria from my sister’s hen night, I tried to create a sangria style summer punch; it worked, it was enjoyed, and I wasn’t at all disappointed when I realised I had a few glasses left to enjoy over the next couple of days. It was so nice I decided to share the recipe I came up with…
Sangria style summer punch
- 750ml bottle red wine
- 150ml brandy
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 star anise
- 2 oranges
- 500ml orange juice
- 750ml lemonade
- 2 dessertspoons sugar
A few hours ahead of time: mix the wine and brandy, and add the spices. Leave for the flavours to start infusing.
About an hour before you plan to serve: peel the oranges, chop them into chunks and add to the alcohol and spice mix.
Just before serving: add the orange juice, lemonade and sugar, stir well until the sugar is dissolved.
Serve chilled, over ice or frozen chunks of fruit.
If you do have some leftover it’s probably wise to fish the cinnamon and star anise out, if you don’t you’ll have a punch which tastes like pernod, perfectly pleasant but it loses the blend of flavours.